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Maria Kennedy is a Partner in the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department. She is a senior member of the Environmental, Planning and Safety Group and the Life Sciences Group.

Maria frequently advises and represents clients involved in commercial, contract, intellectual property, competition, administrative law, construction and real estate disputes, including in arbitration, expert determination and mediation.

Maria represents clients in judicial review and in procurement challenges, in proceedings involving a number of public bodies, such as the Commission for Communications Regulation and An Bord Pleanála.  Maria also represents clients in dawn raids, regulatory investigations and prosecutions including by the Health and Safety Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency and local authorities.

Maria has specialist expertise in environmental, planning and safety law and advises on environmental permitting, liability for contaminated land and waste.  She advises on major development projects such as data centres, wind farms and waste-to-energy plants including a number of strategic infrastructure developments.  Maria advises at all stages of the planning process with the aim of securing planning permission and reducing the risk of successful judicial reviews.  Her role includes advising on EIA/AA requirements at pre-planning stage and representing developers at oral hearings.  Maria also advises on life sciences including on the regulation of health products and the pharma industry generally.

Maria leads the advice on planning and environmental risks in M&A and other transactions, including project financing, and the effective avoidance and mitigation of those risks.

Experience Highlights

Maria has advised:

Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution

  • A multinational patent licensor in an unprecedented patent and competition law action taken by Vodafone, successfully achieving a stay on those proceedings.
  • A large pharmaceutical company in a procurement challenge involving Beaumont Hospital.
  • Gazprom subsidiary (Tomskneft) in successfully resisted enforcement of a US arbitration award worth over US$400 million against Yukos Capital.  The case achieved global media coverage.
  • Three Ireland (Hutchison) Limited as a notice party to judicial review proceedings taken by Vodafone against the Commission for Communications Regulation.
  • Ickendel (the owner of Bewleys Café, Grafton Street, Dublin) in a dispute with its tenant, Bewleys including a successful appeal to the Supreme Court which confirmed that the applicable rent review clause was “upwards only".
  • Avobone (a member of the Indofin Group) in successfully enforcing an arbitral award worth in excess of €20 Million against members of the San Leon Energy Group.
  • A Florida-based trading company in a Commercial Court sale of goods case, achieving a favourable result through mediation.
  • A large Housing Developer in an arbitration concerning the interpretation of an Escrow Agreement, securing the release of substantial monies held in escrow.

Environmental, Planning and Safety

  • A Global Technology company in connection with a number of data centre planning applications and challenges.
  • A Fortune 500 Company in connection with the planning and environmental aspects of a number of windfarm acquisitions across Ireland including some worth between €150-160 million.
  • A consortium of lenders on the planning aspects of an investment in a proposed 28 turbine wind farm in County Kerry valued at over €100 million.
  • Indaver on a proposed €200 million strategic infrastructure development, including in connection with the oral hearing for the proposed development.
  • Ecopower in a number of planning judicial reviews of its windfarm developments across Ireland.
  • Irving Oil on environmental issues in connection with its acquisition of the Whitegate Refinery in Cork, Ireland’s only oil refinery.
  • Warburg Pincus / Zenith on environmental issues in connection with the purchase of the Bantry Bay terminal in Cork and including on EPA licensing requirements.
  • A pharmaceutical company in defending a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Authority in connection with personal injuries suffered by two employees.  Succeeded in having the matter dealt with summarily on the entry of a guilty plea, rather than on indictment.

Maria Kennedy is recommended.
European Legal 500 2020

Maria Kennedy is "one of the leading environmental lawyers in Ireland and her advice is always precise and sound".
European Legal 500 2020

Maria Kennedy is recommended.
European Legal 500 2019

Maria Kennedy is recommended.
European Legal 500 2018

Winner, Rising Star for Litigation, Europe
Euromoney Europe Women in Business Law Awards 2018


Bachelor of Civil Law Degree, University College Cork

LLM (Commercial Law), University College Dublin

Admitted to Law Society of Ireland

Admitted to Law Society of England and Wales (non-practising)

Environmental and Planning Law Diploma, Law Society of Ireland